Balancing livestock production and sustainability of natural resources
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Mounir Louhaichi. (26/10/2023). Balancing livestock production and sustainability of natural resources. Rome, Italy: Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO).
Presentation Delivered at the FAO Global Conference on Sustainable Livestock Transformation in Rome (Italy) from September 25 to September 27, 2023, this presentation underscores the pivotal role of livestock in supporting over one billion people for both livelihoods and nutrition, encompassing 54% of the global terrestrial surface. Despite their significance, vast rangelands, a substantial part of this area, confront degradation and insufficient investment. The presentation sheds light on the diverse contributions of livestock, ranging from transforming inedible vegetation to providing nutrition-rich products and fostering healthy ecosystems through sound grazing management. While livestock prove to be a climate solution in low- and middle-income countries, the central challenge remains achieving a delicate balance between livestock production and responsible natural resource utilization. Focusing on the water aspect, the presentation reveals that livestock production is a significant consumer of fresh water, utilizing 42% of agricultural water for livestock feed production. Soil health, fundamental to life, experiences both positive and negative influences from livestock activities. The talk accentuates the importance of implementing best practices and cutting-edge technologies to alleviate environmental impacts, covering aspects such as animal feeding, husbandry, breeding, land restoration, and innovative solutions. The pivotal role of livestock grazing as an effective management tool takes center stage, emphasizing the historical correlation between disrupted livestock mobility and rangeland degradation. The presentation advocates for an immediate shift toward an integrated and balanced approach grounded in agro-ecological principles. This necessitates behavioral changes, improved integration, and the long-term safeguarding of livestock as an integral part of the solution. A call to intensify research and innovation in livestock systems research for development is a key takeaway, crucial for addressing the sustainability challenges in livestock production.
- Agricultural Research Knowledge